Much to the surprise, and really the chagrin, of baseball fans everywhere, the San Diego Padres were not active at the deadline. According to general manager A.J. Preller, there was confidence in the roster as it is and hope that the Padres could still make a run and get to the playoffs.
Since the start of the second half of the season the Padres have had one of the best records in all of baseball and have continued to win since the trade deadline. It still appears unlikely the Padres will make the playoffs this year but they have gotten more consistent play up and down their lineup and as a result have been able to have a consistent starting lineup day in and day out. This may change sooner rather than later as the Padres get some players back from injury and otherwise.
First off Wil Myers is still recovering from his June wrist surgery and is likely expected to be back sometime near the end of August. This likely creates a conundrum with no real position to put him at. Prior to his injury, Myers was getting some significant playing time at first base with the injury to Yonder Alonso and it seems unlikely that the Padres will want to stick Myers back in center field where he struggled earlier this season. With Justin Upton still in town, the only other logical position for Myers to play is first base. This may either bump Alonso out of the lineup completely or send him to third base once again. Either way this gives the Padres options to play with.
Another play expected back from injury sooner than Wil Myers is Cory Spangenberg. With the good play as of late of both Yangervis Solarte and Jedd Gyorko, it seems unlikely that Spangenberg will replace either one of those guys in the starting lineup. A more likely result is Spangenberg will continue to be a role player of the bench and getting some spot starts. While it is unlikely, and has seemingly already been ruled out, the Padres really should consider playing Spangenberg at shortstop the rest of the year. He is a clear upgrade over both Amarista and Barmes and should have enough speed and range to get the job done at shortstop.
A final player that could return to the Padres before the end of the year is Will Middlebrooks. Middlebrooks lost his starting job at third base and was demoted to Triple A last month in order to attempt to return to his previous form. So far Middlebrooks has looked good for El Paso and if he continues to perform he will likely find himself back on the big league club before the end of the year. As long as Solarte continues to play well it may be a long shot for Middlebrooks to return to the starting lineup but he still should see a September call up when the rosters expand.
Beyond players that will be back to the big league roster either due to returning from injury or returning from a minor league assignment, the Padres also have a few other options for players who could be called up to help the Padres playoff push.
A few players come to mind here. Neither Alex Dickerson or Cody Decker has ever seen big league time and both could be called up to provide some extra offense off the bench. Beyond that, Travis Jankowski continues to tear up the minor leagues and could be due for a call up sooner rather than later. Another guy having a great season that could see big league time is SP Colin Rea. Finally a member of the 2014 Padres, Rymer Liriano, could see another late season call up to help contribute to the big league club.
Whether the Padres stay in playoff contention or not, they will have a lot of options for their roster as the season progresses. For now the roster seems to be clicking from top to bottom and the consistency of the lineup seems to finally be paying off. Should the Padres start to struggle, or should they need reinforcements, they have plenty of guys coming back from injury or waiting in the minors for a call up. From injured players like Wil Myers and Cory Spangenberg, to minor leaguers like Dickerson, Decker, Jankowski, Rea, and Liriano, the Padres have plenty of players waiting in the minor leagues to help the Padres in their playoff push.